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The Award Process: Overview


Anyone—principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public—may nominate exceptional mathematics or science (including computer science) teachers teaching in grades K-6 for the 2016 Award Year. To submit a nomination, the following information is required:

  • Teacher's name
  • E-mail address
  • School contact information

Nominations may be submitted for more than one teacher. Teachers may also initiate the application process themselves at

» Nominate a teacher    » Apply

Once a teacher is nominated or initiates the application process, the teacher will receive an email invitation to continue the application process. The invitation will include login information for accessing the online application system.


The application consists of three components: Administrative, Narrative, and Video. The components allow the applicant to provide evidence of deep content knowledge and exemplary pedagogical skills that result in improved student learning. After eligibility is confirmed and technical specifications are met, each application will be evaluated using the following five Dimensions of Outstanding Teaching:

  • Mastery of mathematics or science content appropriate for the grade level taught.
  • Use of instructional methods and strategies that are appropriate for students in the class and that support student learning.
  • Effective use of student assessments to evaluate, monitor, and improve student learning.
  • Reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning.
  • Leadership in education outside the classroom.

For complete details, please review the 2015–2016 Application Packet (Adobe PDF). If needed, download a free copy of Acrobat Reader for PDF files.

» Login to the application system.


All applications will be subjected to the following review process:

  • At the State level, coordinators convene local selection committees, which include prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science educators, district level personnel, and classroom teachers. These committees select up to five finalists from each discipline (mathematics or science) for recognition at the state level. To ensure consistency across the country, all state selection committees will score their applications using the review criteria and scoring information presented in the 2015–2016 Application Packet.
  • At the national level, NSF convenes a national selection committee composed of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science educators, district level personnel, and classroom teachers that reviews the applications of the state finalists and recommends to NSF up to two finalists in mathematics or science from each state or jurisdiction. The Director of NSF then submits the recommendations to the Director of OSTP. All finalists will be subject to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check.


PAEMST winners are typically announced and honored the year following the receipt of the application.

Each awardee receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a $10,000 award from NSF. Awardees and their guests are honored during events that take place in Washington, DC. These events include an award ceremony, celebratory receptions, professional development programs, and discussions with policy-makers on how to improve mathematics and science (including computer science) education.

» Learn more about the event, and current awardees, on the PAEMST Recognition Program Web site.